Celebrate spring with this easy weeknight salad, perfect as a light dinner or side dish. I received this lettuce and spinach in our CSA this week and wanted to use them in a hearty salad. Light, lemony and colorful and easy to throw together. Make more than you will need- the leftovers were perfect the next day for lunch.
1 cup uncooked Bulgur
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dill
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup olive oil
Place the bulgur into a large bowl and add 2 cups hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes until the bulgur is tender. In a seperate bowl, combine the beans, cucumber & red pepper. Add the cooked and cooled bulgur to the vegetable mixture and combine.
Make the dressing: combine the lemon juice, zest, cumin, dill together and slowly drizzle in olive oil. Whisk together until a vinegerrette forms. Pour over the salad, add the chopped parsley and stir to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Place lettuce and/or spinach leaves on a plate or plater and top with 1 cup of salad.
Enjoy! What are your favorite weeknight meals?
Oh la la, I got major brownie points for this one! We have been eating a lot of big, hearty salads lately and this is my newest creation. BL really liked it, spinach, lettuce, shredded carrots, crunchy noodles and crispy chinese fried ‘chicken.’
A word on frying: make sure your oil is hot enough. I use a thermometer to ensure that the oil is around 360 degrees. When the oil is too cold, more oil is absorbed by the food. Plus, unsaturated fats ARE beneficial! Polyunsaturated oils like Canola is a good choice.
Oriental Chicks Salad
Seitan Patties (from Our Veggie Kitchen)
¼ cup water
½ cup hoisin sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup flour
1 tbsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
Greens: leaf lettuce, spinach, arugula, cabbage
5 carrots, shredded
Chow mein noodles
Crispy wonton strips
3 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. siracha sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. fresh ginger
½ cup oil
Combine the soy sauce, hoisin and water in a bowl. Cube the seitan and place in the marinade mixture. Let sit 20 minutes while you prepare the vegetables and dressing.
In a food processor or small blender, combine the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the greens, shredded carrots, chow mein noodles, almonds, and wonton strips.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy bottomed pan until the oil reaches at least 350 degrees (but not more than 400 degrees) Combine the flour, baking soda and nutritional yeast. Remove the seitan pieces from the marinade mixture and cover with the flour mixture. Drop the coated pieces into the hot oil and cook 2-3 minutes each side until golden and crispy. Remove from the pan and place on a plate covered with a paper towel.
Add the crispy seitan pieces to the salad and toss with the dressing. Top with scallions.
It might be raining outside, but it is spring in my mind! This has been my go-to salad as of late, for potlucks, lunch and cooking demonstrations. You could sub any grain you like, but I have been on a couscous kick and I think it works perfectly here.
1 1/2 cups couscous
3 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced and peeled (optional)
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 handful basil, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 small lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Add couscous, cover, and remove from heat. When couscous is done, about 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and set aside.
In a dry skillet, add pine nuts and toast for a few minutes each side until lightly browned. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add couscous, tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley and basil. Combine olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a blender or small bowl. Add dressing to salad mixture and toss. Top with toasted pine nuts.
Per 1 cup serving: 307 calories, 13g fat (mostly monounsaturated from olive oil and pine nuts), 4 g fiber, 7.6 g protein
I took liberties in calling this “pesto” but I figured any sauce that contains a whole lot of basil could count. This is great for weeknights since it comes together really easily. I used a pressure cooker for my rice/barley to make preparation a bit simpler. Leftovers taste great too!
Barley & Brown Rice Pesto Salad
Cook barley and brown rice using stove-top or pressure cooker methods. Drain both grains after cooking and rinse with cold water. This helps the rice and barley from congealing together when cooled.
Combine the pesto ingredients (except oil) in a food processor or blender. Pulse together until ingredients are finely minced or pureed together. Slowly drizzle in oil or broth until pesto sauce forms.
Dice the cucumber and bell pepper. In a large bowl combine the diced vegetables, barley and brown rice. Add the pesto and toss to coat! Taste best at room temperature.
Serves 6: Calories: 214., 8.5g fat., 5g protein